Axiata Group management expressed caution about the outlook for 2021, citing Covid-19 (coronavirus) uncertainty which continued to impact earnings in Q1.
President and CEO Izzaddin Idris highlighted EBITDA growth as evidence Axiata has the right strategy in place to deliver on near- and mid-term goals. The operator noted challenges including a 3G shutdown in Malaysia and increased competition in Indonesia following the allocation of fresh spectrum.
Idris stated Axiata was “circumspect in our outlook for the second quarter and beyond, especially given the resurgence of movement restrictions and its strain on economic recovery”.
Chairman Abdul Khalid added: “We are cognisant of the increasing risks and unpredictable scenarios that lie ahead for the industry and our businesses. The region continues to grapple with multi-faceted challenges as each country battles to mitigate blows from the protracted Covid-19 crisis.”
The company said all its operating companies performed well except for XL in Indonesia and Ncell in Nepal.
Net profit dropped 59.8 per cent year-on-year to MYR75.6 million ($18.2 million) due to higher depreciation expenses in many markets and lower one-off gains. Revenue was flat at MYR6.1 billion.
Profit at Celcom in Malaysia fell 31 per cent to MYR70.8 million on revenue of MYR1.6 billion, up 5.4 per cent. The profit fall was attributed to accelerated depreciation of 3G assets totalling MYR122.7 million, and service revenue was flat.
XL profit fell 77.4 per cent to MYR93 million with revenue down 6 per cent at MYR1.8 billion.
Its Bangladesh unit Robi generated profit of MYR16.4 million, up 77.8 per cent, with revenue falling 1 per cent to MYR948 million.
Profit at Dialog in Sri Lanka grew 50.3 per cent to MYR50.9 million with revenue up 2.4 per cent to MYR685.2 million. Ncell profit was up 4.9 per cent to MYR66.5 million though revenue fell 15 per cent to MYR377.8 million.
Smart in Cambodia recorded a 2.5 per cent drop in profit to MYR54.3 million with revenue up 4 per cent to MYR338.1 million, and tower business edotco increased revenue 4 per cent to MYR473.1 million.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back